How To Get Custody Of A Child In Colorado

May 22, 2021

 A Child In Colorado

Getting custody of a child in Colorado can be challenging as there are no rules automatically giving one parent custody over the other. Moreover, Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14 § 14-10-124 recognizes that it is in a child’s best interests to have “frequent and continuing” contact and a strong relationship with both parents unless there are extenuating circumstances that could put a child in danger. It is, therefore, unlikely that the court will deny one parent visitation rights and parenting time.

Reaching a suitable custody agreement with the other parent can be challenging since emotions tend to run high after a breakup or divorce. Therefore, understanding the custody process and having an experienced family lawyer by your side can be important if you are looking to get custody of a child or children.

The Johnson Law Group can help you arrange suitable custody agreements that put your children first. Call us now for a free consultation at (720) 463-4333 (phone) or (720) 730-4558 (text to chat).

Filing for Custody in Colorado

Filing for sole or joint child custody – in Colorado called “primary parental responsibility” or “joint parental responsibility” requires petitioning the court. The steps of filing for custody in Colorado generally include:

  1. Determining whether sole or joint custody is in the child’s best interests
  2. Filing a petition for allocation of parental responsibilities in court
  3. Serving the other parent if filing alone
  4. Attending the Initial Status Conference (ISC) together with the other parent
  5. Preparing and notarizing your parenting plan

The relevant documents for filing a petition, setting up a parental plan, and others, can be downloaded from the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Having the guidance of an experienced family law and child custody lawyer can potentially help you achieve a positive result of your request for child custody. Contact Johnson Law Group to find out how you can ensure that you obtain at least joint custody of your child.

Primary and Joint Parental Responsibility

In the state of Colorado, if one parent has fewer than 90 overnight child visits per year, the court automatically considers the other parent as having primary parental responsibility. If both parents share a roughly equal number of overnight stays and visitations with the children, the court assumes that both parents have shared joint parental responsibility.

Primary parental responsibility can be awarded to one parent in Colorado. In this case, the parent will be able to make all decisions regarding the child, including but not limited to:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Welfare

How a Colorado Family Lawyer Can Help

Even in an amicable split, it can be challenging and difficult for parents to agree on child custody arrangements. In an acrimonious divorce or separation, having a family law attorney by your side can be crucial for helping you come to a suitable custody arrangement with your ex. Your Colorado family lawyer can help you reach a satisfactory custody arrangement and, together with the other parent’s attorney, act as a mediator without you having to be in contact with your ex directly.

In addition to the challenges that come with having to agree with an ex-partner or spouse, Colorado family law can be complex. For example, residential responsibility for the child and decision-making authority are treated as two separate entities under Colorado law.

Seeking Primary Parental Responsibility

Seeking primary parental responsibility can be challenging, particularly when your ex-partner or spouse is opposed to you getting sole custody. However, a dedicated family attorney from our firm can help you with all aspects of the process, such as filing the petition, preparing you thoroughly for the initial hearing, and more.

If you would like to find out more about how to get custody of your child or children and increase your chances for a successful petition, seeking the advice of a seasoned family law attorney from our firm can be a good first step.

Seeking Shared Parental Responsibility

If the other parent was awarded sole custody of your child or children and you are seeking shared responsibilities, contacting a family law attorney can also be crucial as you will have to prepare a good case for changing parental responsibility arrangements.

Making a Detailed Parenting Plan

Even if both parents now believe that they can agree on all issues to do with custody and parenting, this may not always be the case in the future. Therefore, drawing up a detailed parenting plan can be advantageous and include agreements both parents have made. The plan will also include the rights of each parent.

A parenting plan can address all aspects of parenting, including holiday visits, places for visitation, and other custody issues and is generally binding for both parties until a court modifies it. Therefore, parents need to make sure that the plan works well for them and the child. Your family law attorney can help you devise a suitable parenting plan which should clearly lay out all important details regarding the sharing of parental responsibilities, such as:

  • Schedule parenting time
  • Child support
  • Decision making

Parenting plans can vary considerably from one family to the next and should be customized to work for your unique circumstances and the needs of the children. Some parenting plans may only be designed to deal with the next year or two, while others can be drawn up for a longer time period, for example, until the child transitions into adulthood. It is possible to modify a parenting plan, provided any modifications will be in the children’s best interests. While any major changes will need to be filed in court, parents can make minor changes, provided all parties agree.

Once you and the other parent of your child have agreed on a child custody arrangement, both parties’ attorneys can submit your parenting plan to the district court for review and approval.

Contact Johnson Law Group Today

As a parent, you want the best for your child. We can help you achieve a custody arrangement that works for the entire family. The issues surrounding custody can become emotionally heated and difficult to resolve without a third party such as an experienced attorney.

Our family lawyers can help you minimize stress and reach an agreement in the best interest of your child or children. Here at Johnson Law Group, we pride ourselves on our personalized, attentive, and compassionate approach to child custody matters. We are here to help you through what can be an uncertain and stressful time. Let us help you with establishing effective child custody and visitation arrangements that are tailored to your unique family circumstances. Call us now at (720) 463-4333 (phone) or (720) 730-4558 (text to chat).

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Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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